Lebanese National Dialogue Ends, New Round to Take Place in September

Speaker Nabih Berri chaired on Thursday the last session of a three-day national dialogue Ain el-Tineh which was aimed at finding a solution to the current political crisis in Lebanon.

Although political leaders failed to achieve tangible results over three consecutive days of national dialogue, they agreed to hold a fourth session on September 5, National News agency reported.Lebanese National Dialogue (Thursday August 4)

Progressive Socialist Party MP Walid Jumblatt and Change and Reform Bloc MP Michel Aoun skipped the session for the second day in a row, and Marada Movement MP Sleiman Frangieh was absent from Thursday’s talks as well.

Several dialogue members said at the end of talks that the establishment of a senate and the voting system were the main focus of the session.

Following the session, several politicians made remarks to press.

Former Prime Minister, Najib Mikati said “the session was a continuation of the previous sessions. Discussions focused on the prerogatives of the senate and the parliamentary electoral law”.

Deputy Talal Arslan said: “from today till September 5 there will be consultations among all the dialogue participants,” pointing out to workshops to reassure the Lebanese in several files including the election of a president, creation of a senate and decentralization.

MP Ghazi Aridi represented Jumblatt and stressed that “the dialogue is not a waste of time. It is a major issue. An alternative is a boycott and vacuum”.

For his part, Kataeb party leader MP Sami Gemayel said “our presence at the dialogue table is to defend the Constitution and to demand the election of a president”.

He added that “studying the reforms usually happens in the parliament not in any other place. Postponing discussions on a new electoral system until the creation of senate is approved is an extension of the political vacuum”.

FPM leader, Minister Gebran Bassil said “we support a law which is clear and adopts a single standard”.